Evolving your Customer’s Banking Experience with Trust
Episode 016: Evolving your Customer’s Banking Experience with Trust
Ever wondered why trust is so crucial in banking today?
To help answer that question we welcome Jack Hubbard, one of the nation’s top 100 most trusted business leaders, to discuss the evolution of trust in banking. We delve into how the behavior of customers has been changing over the years and why a customer-first culture and consistent communication have a vital role. Jack enlightens us on how digital platforms help banks connect more effectively with their customers.
Next, we shift our focus to the significance of leadership and coaching within banks. We all know that creating and maintaining a successful culture is no child’s play. It’s pretty much like remodeling a house – demanding and not always fun, but something you’ve got to work on every day. We chat about the importance of training our salesforce and how they can build genuine relationships in banking. We also talk about the common traps relationship managers often fall into while selling and the best practices they should be embracing instead.
To close our conversation, Jack shares his wisdom on the importance of continuous learning in the banking sector. We discuss how to shift from initial discovery conversations to presenting solutions and why banks should banish cross-selling (and embrace cross-solving). We wrap up with Jack’s advice on staying updated in the banking industry, emphasizing the need to keep learning and refining your skills to stay ahead. Don’t miss out on this episode packed with invaluable insights for all you banking enthusiasts out there. Tune in and keep yourself informed.
Links & Mentions
Co-Founder & Managing Partner, The Modern Banker
Jack is a regular keynote presenter for state and national banking associations and has instructed at 13 of the nation’s top banking schools where his humorous style and street savvy approach continue to earn him top honors. Hubbard served 32 years as an award-winning faculty member of ABA’s School of Bank Marketing and Management. He was also a popular, two-decade instructor at ABA’s Stonier Graduate School of Banking. He is a top-rated instructor at Graduate School of Banking in Madison, WI, and The Perry School of Banking. He also served for six years as the Program Director and Instructor of GSB’s Sales and Marketing School.
A prolific writer, Jack’s content is regularly posted on LinkedIn as well as many industry publications. Jack hosts two weekly LinkedIn Live shows and Pocasts called Jack Rants with Modern Bankers and Jack Rants with Brynne.
Jack is Managing Partner of The Modern Banker and he serves on the Board of Directors of St. Charles Bank & Trust, a $2.5 billion affiliate of Wintrust Financial in Illinois.
00:01 – Fred Cadena (Host)
And welcome back. I have to say that one of the things that has been on my mind this year has been the evolving role of trust in banking, and I don’t see evolving in that it matters less. In fact, if I took anything away from the mini crisis earlier this year, is that the speed of digital means that trust is even more critical, and now I think I’ve got the right guy to explore what this means. On this episode, I’m joined by one of the nation’s top 100 most trusted business leaders by Trust Magazine, jack Hubbard. Now, jack shared his passion for what it takes to build trust-based sales initiatives in banking since 1973. He’s one of banking’s most sought after facilitators, whose expertise and out-of-the-box thinking puts him in great demand.
Jack’s a regular keynote presenter for state and national banking associations and is instructed at 13 of the nation’s top banking schools. Now, if you spend any time on LinkedIn, like I do, you’ve probably seen and benefited from Jack’s content, where he hosts two weekly LinkedIn live shows and podcasts called Jack’s Rants with Modern Bankers and Jack Rants with Brent. Today, jack is managing partner of the Modern Banker and he also serves on the board of directors of St Charles Bank and Trust, a $2.5 billion. Affiliate of WinTrust Financial in Illinois. Welcome to the podcast, jack. Thanks for joining.
01:19 – Jack Hubbard (Guest)
Well, thank you, Fred. Thanks for that great introduction, and I better be good after all that.
01:26 – Fred Cadena (Host)
Well, I have no doubt, as a fan and regular listener of your content, I’m excited to be bringing your insights to our audience, and I just want to kick it off pretty easily by saying, from your perspective, how have you seen the landscape of banking change when it comes to the role of trust and relationships with customers?
01:46 – Jack Hubbard (Guest)
Well, to be captain, obvious, the customer has changed an awful lot, fred, and we could talk about that forever, but I think everybody kind of gets that. When I started banking in 1973, we use ledgers, not laptops and it was a lot more personal, and thank God, in some ways things have changed, because it was pretty antiquated.
But, one of the challenges that we have is that people don’t have a lot of perspective. You know, I was teaching up at graduate school banking this summer and most of the kids and I call them kids because they’re younger than me, virtually younger than me- and they hadn’t gone through any of the things that I had gone through. And so what happens is over the years I mean, if you think about it back in 1980, the prime rate was 20.5%. That was the highest it ever got. We had the real estate crisis in 1987.
In between, that we had the SNL crisis, then we had 2008, we had 9-11, we had the pandemic and now we have this. So trust is rebuilt and then taken away as the pendulum continues to swing. The biggest problem is consistency of communication. One of the people I follow a lot in banking is James Robert Lay, and he’s so good from a communications perspective. So it’s interesting. Earlier in the year, when this whole thing hit the fan, I went out that weekend and I hit 20 bank websites.
03:26 – Fred Cadena (Host)
03:26 – Jack Hubbard (Guest)
I looked to see if there was any communication out there with anybody that said look, we’re a five-star bow rating. Here’s what that means. We’re well capitalized here. Here’s what that means Big banks, community banks and only one bank, one out of the 20, had done anything on their website to respond to this really important thing.
So I think part of it is the lack of trust means lack of consistency and lack of communication. I think the third thing is incongruence within the culture. If you look at banks’ websites, they’ll say wonderful things, like all banks, all websites do. But if you get behind the curtain and you really look at it, what bankers are facing is higher quotas higher levels, less people and a lot of pressure.
And so when we have a culture of quarterlies, as if I call it, we have that incongruence of we want to put the customer first, but we also got to push widgets, and that’s a real challenge.
04:30 – Fred Cadena (Host)
No, it is a huge challenge and I think it’s one of many. I was surprised and I’ll dig into it a little bit. Do you think that the website would be enough you mentioned you looked at these websites, only one had anything. Is that enough In this digital world? Is that what you’re thinking that customers are expecting?
I remember I was also a bit of a student of the response and I put out a few blog posts in a white paper afterwards about how communication should play a critical role and potentially could have changed some of the outcomes for some of the banks and I remember one bank and I am horrible at remembering which one it is, but I’ll put in the show notes their president or their chairman. One of the two went out and emailed in a blast email. Here’s my phone number. If you have any questions about our solvency and where we are from a liquidity perspective, give me a call Now. Obviously, that doesn’t scale up if you’re a super regional or a national bank, but what really should banks be doing in this digital age and what are the customer expectations on that type of outreach?
05:41 – Jack Hubbard (Guest)
Well, it’s a really good point and when I went out to the websites, it’s the weekend and I think in the past a lot of banks have believed well, the customer’s kind of dormant on the weekend, they don’t think about their money. But my daughter’s company’s payroll account was at SVB, so they’re thinking and she was going to get paid on Friday and so now we’re thinking about this seven days a week.
So you’re exactly right, the website is one thing, but banks are still not using LinkedIn as effectively as they could. They could be messaging their top customers. I’ll tell you a quick story. When the pandemic hit and I was with St Mayer and Hubbard at the time we, our people, put out video messages. We taught them how to do video messaging on their phones through LinkedIn.
And if you’re first degree connection, you can actually send a video message between six seconds and a minute. That really calms the water. So I love what the bank president did. And you’re exactly right, the communication is just not the website. It’s got to be one to one, it’s got to be phone calls. If I was a bank president, I would have had my branch managers in a training Saturday morning, pay them overtime and say here, I want you to call your top 15 customers. Those are the kind of things that we need to do to respond to things, because things happen so fast these days and that’s part of your question Things have changed so much because things change so fast all the time.
07:15 – Fred Cadena (Host)
All the time and I love that point. I think it’s funny. You know you’re mentioning. You know, in a bygone era, banks would assume that nobody’s thinking about their money on the weekend. I think that really the bank’s not thinking about it on the weekend because that’s their days off. For most regular folks in on Main Street, saturday and Sunday it might be the only days they have to think about what’s going on with their personal you know finances. So I think it’s important for a bank to be available in and respond when and where the customer has a question or a concern.
07:49 – Jack Hubbard (Guest)
And this is not going to endear me to a lot of people, but I’ve mentioned it to my bank board and and you know, you just got to be real, real, careful. But the fact is that, as the rates have continued to go off, here’s another crisis of trust. You look at all the ads and you hear things that you drive by bank signs and it says 5.4% CD for 11 months, new money. Well, wait a second. What happened to the loyalty for the customers who have been loyal to the bank and getting 0.25 on their money? Why don’t we do something proactively to raise those rates?
Because here’s what happens and I’m not an economist by any means, but I do know this If you take a whole bunch of money out of the banking system and out of your community bank, it costs a lot of money to get it back. Why don’t we just raise the rates and save some of that angst and save some of the money and build customer loyalty? Now, that isn’t going to endear me to a lot of bank presidents and I’m not saying just en masse give everybody 5.4%. That’s wrong. But what we do is, when rates go up, we raise lending rates really fast and we deposit rates really slow.
I just find that to be unconscionable.
09:11 – Fred Cadena (Host)
Yeah, no, I totally get that and obviously I think our audience, you understand, has a lot of the complexities of sometimes those loans are fixed and they don’t have the ability to move up on the existing loan portfolio. But you’re absolutely right. I mean, I spent a lot of time talking with banks about the acquisition cost for new customers, what they’re spending to bring in money both for liquidity purposes as well as to fund ongoing loan operations, and investing some of that back into retention probably would pay a significant dividend. Right, it’s always cheaper to keep a customer than it is to attract a new one.
09:53 – Jack Hubbard (Guest)
And no doubt, and because you’re involved with this every single day, if I have a CRM system, a crisis suddenly makes the CRM much smarter, because now. I can go in and I can look at all my customers and I can make phone calls and send emails, and I can do it very quickly right from the system, whereas if I don’t have that, I’m doing it through an Excel spreadsheet or some paper, which takes way, way too much time.
10:18 – Fred Cadena (Host)
Absolutely. I mean CRM could absolutely help you understand who are your best customers. Who should you be prioritizing to call? You know, quite frankly, you know I would use a mix of, obviously you know assets and value to the bank. You know recent sentiment. You know somebody that’s already had two or three bad experiences and now there’s this crisis, they might make it to the top of the list, even if they’re not the most profitable or largest. You know depositor and doing that with a CRM is way, way easier than trying to figure it out based on recollection and people’s yellow pads on their desk. And you know hey, I know I talked to so-and-so last week, so I don’t need to call them. That’s not a very scalable solution. I’m curious, like you know, what are the other obstacles you mentioned? Obviously you know banks are under more and more pressure. You know, to make sales, to grow deposits, to grow loans, to hit numbers. What else is standing in the way of really building those trusted relationships?
11:19 – Jack Hubbard (Guest)
Well, I think it starts with culture. I think it starts with the mindset that if you look at the Texas Rangers okay, and they recently won the World Series and if you watch the interviews right after the ball game, the whole tenor of this was we’re building a culture here. We brought in players that were a cultural fit for us and we’re a concurrent culture, and so it really does start with that whole mindset of what kind of a bank or credit union do we want to be. Then it comes down to some leadership Okay, here’s our culture, here’s the message, and everybody’s going to play in this particular way or you’re not going to play.
I remember I was doing a call for a bank in St Louis and the bank president.
this is many years ago and they might not say it this way today but the bank president said okay, we’ve started this process, we’ve picked a company for the culture that we want, a trust-based culture. He said there’s a couple of ways you can go here. You can get on the train because it’s moving really slow now. If you decide you want to get on the train later, maybe you can run to catch up with it. But the worst thing you could possibly do is to stand in front of the train because you’re going to get run over. And what he meant by that is I don’t care if you’re a superstar or the brand newest player, this is our culture, this is the way we’re going to do it. And if you stand in the way, you’re going to need to go to another bank.
So I think that whole idea of leadership makes a difference. And when I talk about leadership, I talk about not only the leadership at the top, but daily leadership, that whole idea. We’re going to talk about coaching a little bit, but that whole idea of behavioral leadership, shining a light on what the culture is and reminding us all the time. And then, fred, you see this every day it’s tools. I’ll give you an example. So I was working with a bank and they had a pretty good CRM system and they had the opportunity to turn on some triggers through the CRM and their core system. A trigger would say hey, mrs Johnson had a balance of $29,000. She just took $12,000 out and that trigger would be sent to the branch manager.
And they make the call and say Mrs Johnson, first of all, I just want you to know that your money is safe, and we noticed that you took a large amount out. I just want to make sure that that’s what you wanted to do. Pause, listen for the answer, and then we have a dialogue about that. But you know what, fred? The bank decided not to turn that on because it would cost too much money. So we invest in certain tools, but we don’t invest in the kind of tools that could really help us. So I think it’s a big answer. And then the last thing I would say is you got a guy that I trained a long time ago in North Carolina, one of the best sales managers I ever met. He gave me a phrase he said you can teach a turkey to climb a tree, but it’s better to hire a squirrel.
And my point is that you got to hire the right people. You don’t want to hire just someone that can fog a mirror. You want to hire somebody that you know is going to be part of your culture and not toxic. And that’s part of the problem with some baseball and football and basketball teams. They bring on a superstar who’s absolutely not a cultural fit. All they want is the ball and they don’t fit in well. So it’s a multifaceted answer, fred, and the challenge, of course, is you got to keep doing this. I always tell people building a culture is like remodeling your house while you live in it, and it’s never easy and it’s never fun, but it’s important to work on every single day.
15:22 – Fred Cadena (Host)
Yeah, no, I think that’s spot on. I love that. I think it’s the importance of having that cultural fit. I probably would endear myself to a lot of people talking about the Patriots, but I think that was a lot of their magic. Over the years, and obviously a lot of the names Brady and Gronk and others have become superstars, but they weren’t recruited as superstars. And really this idea of building a true team where every piece of the puzzle really matters and I guess my reframe back on that is how do you coach bank leaders, executives, front line branch leaders, in the face of the targets aren’t going away right and we’ve all seen bad behavior in banks and really, really bad behavior in banks around targets. They start going away in the face of that pressure. How do you coach them to ensure that they remember the relationship, they remember the importance of trust in those selling engagements?
16:26 – Jack Hubbard (Guest)
Well, I think the first thing is you have to teach your leaders how to coach. Of course, before that, even you got to know that if you’re going to promote someone into leadership, um, there’s, there’s a couple of companies out there that have done a lot of research and they find that only about 15% of top sales people ever become top sales leaders. And what we do is we promote people to obsolescence, because some people just don’t want forms and ties and tied to their desk and they don’t want to coach, they want to sell. So let’s put the right people in the in that state. I always talk about Michael. Phil Jackson, the great coach of the Chicago Bulls and Lakers, wrote a, wrote a great book called Sacred Hoops, and he talks about this in his book and and he talks about the fact that he would not want Michael Jordan coaching anybody, because Michael is a MVP. But but Phil Jackson was a great coach because he knew how to do it. He had the mindset around, around that. So that’s number one. Then you got to teach him how to do it and then you got to hold them accountable.
And boy, we hear this accountability word nauseam. Here’s the problem. We have accountability in, in thought and spirit, but no consequence. So people say, well, I’m going to hold people accountable to do behavioral meetings on a monthly basis and then nobody observes them, nobody watches them. If the meeting never changes, nothing changes at the bank. So there is no accountability. You can say the word all you want, but if there’s no consequence to the accountability and consequence can be good and bad the consequence to running a great meeting is better performance. The consequence to running a bad meeting is people wake up in the morning and they say I got to go to a meeting. So this whole idea around leadership, so it’s getting the right people, training the right people and holding people accountable. And then there’s multiple layers to this. If I’m a branch manager, my market manager needs to hold me accountable. If I’m a market manager, my regional manager needs to hold me accountable.
18:31 – Fred Cadena (Host)
And if I’m a regional manager, the president of the bank needs to hold me accountable. And when that?
18:35 – Jack Hubbard (Guest)
accountability starts to go away. Up the top levels, branch managers eventually say this was just. This too shall pass. This too shall pass. And I think one of the real challenges of our industry is that as we move up in the organization we get coached less and less and less because people don’t know how to coach us at our level. I’ll just add one more thing on coaching. Phil Jackson said everybody needs to be coached differently, but everybody needs to be coached If I hire a brand new banker.
If Tom Brady is a seventh round grab choice which he was I need to coach him differently than the starting quarterback, but I need to coach him and I need to. I really need to focus on him starting quarterback. I may need to do some tweaks, tom Brady, I may need to spend a little bit more time, but if I’m if I’m a senior person and I’m doing really well, I still need to have my manager go with me on joint calls. But when Bob St Mayer and I had our business, we would always go on joint calls together and we would coach each other. We’re business owners. So I think the problem with coaching is that all of the things that I mentioned, and then the word itself, oh, I don’t have time to coach, and what they’re really saying is and I don’t want to do that and what I’m seeing a lot is deal coaching, a lot of deal coaching going on and not a lot of behavioral coaching.
19:56 – Fred Cadena (Host)
So so how does a bank fix that? I mean, I think the short answer is called Jack, but Jack doesn’t necessarily scale up to all of the institutions in the country. So you know, if, if a bank, you know, really decides at a leadership level that coaching is important, how do you fill those gaps? How do you get the mid level, the mid senior level leaders, for whom you know coaching is not necessarily their, you know their, their default operating model, how do you get them into that coaching mindset? And then, on the other hand, where do you find the coaches for the people that are senior in the organization?
20:32 – Jack Hubbard (Guest)
Yeah, that’s a really good question. Finding them is is maybe easier than that getting them better. If you’ve got someone that that is not, doesn’t have coachability in their mindset, they should never have been promoted in that position. But if you’ve got somebody out in the field who really has that coachability mindset, we need to find out, though, who those people are. A and B test them before we hire them for the position that they’re being hired for.
Too often what happens is, and we move up in organizations, we’re hired as a branch manager and we assume that as a branch manager, we can do all the branch manager things. Oh, by the way, since people aren’t coming to the branch as much anymore, we want you to go out and make sales calls. Well, that might be easier when you’re hiring a branch manager and telling them what they rules in the road are, versus a 32 year veteran branch manager who all of a sudden has to go out and make sales calls and they just aren’t going to do it. So I got to find good people out there, and there’s a lot of great testing out there. I like predictive index.
It will really help you determine okay, that’s a good coach, and then we bring them in from another, from the other perspective. Boy, that’s a real challenge and I think it goes to the person above them If you’re brought in as a salesperson and then you’re elevated to coach. I got to stay on you as a market manager. I got to work with you, I got to make joint calls with you, I got to continue to help you and I got to find out can you do it or can’t you do it? And at some point, if you can’t coach, we got to find something else for you to do it, and it would be go be a salesperson, because that’s not a bad thing, it just is what you do best. That’s a Disney way. That’s the Disney way. And good news for Disney is they have thousands and thousands of people A community bank doesn’t. But before you promote that person into that new job, you better think real carefully about that.
22:48 – Fred Cadena (Host)
Let me ask this, and again to your point it may not scale down to some of the smaller institutions, but is the coach role for you critical that they be in the management line, or is coaching a discipline where you could bring in somebody to focus on coaching that maybe does not have all the rest of the responsibilities of running the P&L at a market level or at a regional level?
23:21 – Jack Hubbard (Guest)
Boy, that is such a great question and I think community banks that get to a billion and a half, two billion dollars. That’s what I’m seeing as a huge trend Sales Enablement Departments, sales Champions, sales Managers but here’s the real key to that those people have got to report up to the president of the bank, they’ve got to have his or her ear and they’ve got to have his or her implied authority, and people need to know that they are not those people. Those sales leaders, those sales champions are not hired as just fluff. They are the eyes and ears of the president and whatever they say, that’s what the president wants you to do in the field. Yes, I’ve seen that a lot and I think that’s a real powerful way to help managers who want to be a lending manager but not a sales manager, go do what they do best and then have people that are out in the field and coaching and getting people better.
24:30 – Fred Cadena (Host)
That’s a great question, no, and I think that makes a lot of sense and I love the fact that you need to make sure that these people are seen as having authority and not just excuse me, not just window dressing right, they’re not just there as an optional you can opt in but that they really do have the authority and can provide the accountability to produce the behaviors that we want. I love it. I think this has been fantastic so far. I’d like to switch a little bit now to talking less about the function of coaching and more about the delivery of the coaching. So I know you spent a lot of time working with banks on a lot of these behaviors. I’m sure you’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly as far as how relationship managers are trained from the ground up. You know what are some of the mistakes and maybe some of the best practices that you’ve seen and shared around getting relationship managers on board with trust based selling.
25:41 – Jack Hubbard (Guest)
Well, let’s start with the fact that we are providing training to people. You know I’m still going out and it’s more limited, but I’m going out and doing some sales training for bankers and that’s great. But you can bring in Jack Hubbard, ned Miller, nick Miller, marty Cohen, linda Richardson, you can bring them all in and unless something changes after the training, the training money will go down the drain. There was a guy in Boston named Dave Stein. He’s retired and he did some studies and he found that about 92% of sales training went to waste because nothing changed after the training. The real key to sales training is what happens the next day. So here’s one mistake that bankers make they do a lot of training, which is great in sales. Then they send their people back to the office and they don’t execute on what they learned quickly. This is called the forgetting curve. 90% of training goes to waste because people only get about 10% in the training and that 10% is lost within 48 hours if a banker doesn’t do something. So here’s a secret when you all do sales training for your folks, go out and have them come to class with one appointment, either with a prospect, a COI, or a client that’s underbanked. That client prospect, coi is used as a case study throughout your training. Don’t do fake case studies. Everybody knows that when you do your real plays, not role plays during class, you’re actually getting them to prepare to go out and make a sales call. So now they have an appointment, by the way, with this client prospect or COI the day after the training. So now they’re preparing all day for this training or for this call and now they’re going to go out on the call the next day. So now what they’ve done is they’ve really taken their training and they’re being held accountable because they’re going out and actually using these skills the next day. I also think it’s really important for a manager to accompany those bankers and watch and observe and make notes and then coach behaviorally after that.
The third secret is don’t talk about products. The big mistake bankers make on a first call is they want to pitch. Part of that goes back to our very first question why trust is going away or why trust is lacking. So instead of pitching a product, teach your bankers how to redirect away from the product and ask great questions. Bayer has the answers. Seller has the questions. Second, after you don’t talk about a product, don’t talk about the bank. Don’t make a pitch. The third thing is leave something behind with something of value whether it’s from my friends at Vertical IQ or a white paper or something like that Nothing to do with the bank logo and you don’t talk about a product. So then you come back after that, after that call day, and you debrief. And the way the managers debrief the call is what opportunities did we uncover to help these people that you call them? That whole mindset shift goes away from product to customer.
I’ll tell you a quick story. I was doing a class in the middle of 2023 with a bank 20 bankers not made many calls. We did it exactly the way I described. They prepared, we talked about questions, they went out and made their calls. They uncovered, without talking about products, $100 million in new opportunities and they’ve now closed 40% of those opportunities without ever talking about a product on the first call. Now, eventually, you have to. We have to get smarter about this. And the last thing I’ll say about training mistakes is one and done. You and I both you travel more than I do now, but I used to travel a ton and I always respected people in American Airlines in the cockpit because I knew that they went back to the simulator all the time, and often what happens is we either bring a motivational speaker in or we have a training on Veterans Day because the venue is closed and we think that will do it. This is not a one and done. You can’t be one hit wonders and be successful in a long term. Performance culture.
30:13 – Fred Cadena (Host)
No, there’s a lot of nuggets in there to unpack. I’ll start with the end, which is I agree 100%. And I think that you know, I’d like to think, that personally I do a lot of things to get you know value out of training, but you’re not going to pick everything up Right? I kind of compare it to my golf game, and I’m not a great golfer. I have destroyed many courses that I didn’t deserve to set foot on. But you know when I’m thinking about my irons, you know I’ve got what? Six, seven irons in the bag. How many irons do I use?
I actually put these little things on the, on the, on my clubs that help track you know when you use the right club and that kind of thing. I usually use three or four irons over the course of, and it’s not because I shouldn’t use the other irons, those are the ones that I’m used to. Same thing, when you go through a sales training, you learn six, seven, eight different techniques. You naturally pick up two or three of them and you and you pound those right and they’re getting results. You never go if you never go back. You never go back and figure out the other three, four, five techniques and that’s why I 100% agree that finding those moments to go back, retrain, go back to the simulator are critically important.
The thing I want to dig more into and I think it leads into how to start building more authentic relationships and maybe I’m oversimplifying it, but what I heard in the middle about going out making those initial sales calls, not starting with a pitch, not starting with a product, is maybe like making your customer, your prospect, feel like you care about them more than you care about what you’re pushing. Right, and I want to learn about your business. I want to learn about your objectives. I want to learn about how you see things going. Is business up? Is business down? Are you struggling with this? I mean, it’s still a business conversation, right. You’re not in there talking about golf and bourbon and cigars. I mean a little bit of that, right, but it’s mostly a business conversation. But it’s about really feeling like like you care about what they want to do, not about pushing product down their throat. Is that kind of where you’re going with it?
32:30 – Jack Hubbard (Guest)
Boy, that’s right on target. You know, fred, people don’t care how much you know, they really care about how much you care, and so your product is static, but you’ve got to care. So one way to do that is to stop being a relationship manager. Now that might sound like craziness to people, but the concept of relationship management has really become very bastardized. In a lot of cases, relationship managers are waiting for the phone to ring. What I try to teach people to do is to become a resource manager.
When you are a resource manager. You are constantly providing value. You’re always there to provide insights. You never leave a call without giving someone an idea and you talk about being authentic. My friend, larry Levine, who wrote an amazing book called Selling from the Heart, talks about the empty suit that goes out and makes a call. Man or woman goes out and makes a call. You’ve got to be authentic and when you really believe that you can be a resource and you articulate that and you constantly show it. Now customers are not only going to bring you money at bushel baskets they’re going to tell everybody else about that.
And now your world becomes so much bigger and you have a tool you mentioned. I’m on LinkedIn a lot and people call me grandpa LinkedIn because I’m not a resource manager and they say how do you stay on top of LinkedIn? And I teach it every day and that’s a resource. You can be such a resource to people right on LinkedIn. And bankers make a big mistake when they become just a relationship manager and that’s not horrible. But if you’re just a relationship manager, that’s just taking the order, your relationships are significantly at risk.
34:41 – Fred Cadena (Host)
Yeah, I couldn’t agree more. I’ve spent a lot of time in consulting and I always tell consultants that I work with and I taught when I was an Accenture at the farm, where new consultants learn all the way up to senior consultants. Worst thing you can be is an order taker. If you’re sitting there waiting for the client to tell you what they want, there’s no differentiator. They can take that order to the low cost provider. Your value is to help them understand what they’re doing.
In a broader context, banker goes and visits a client in manufacturing. They know their business really well. Banker probably has 10 manufacturers, 15 manufacturers, 20 manufacturers in their portfolio. Come with that perspective. Oh, you mentioned you had XYZ going on with your suppliers. Have you thought about this? Or here’s an approach and you’re adding that value that, oh, by the way, potentially could lead to a sale. Sometimes may not. Every single thing that you bring up is not necessarily going to lead to the next piece of business, but over time I think a lot of it will.
I think that bankers might have some anxiety. First of the thing you said, I’m going to go make a sales call. I’m not going to talk about product, so let’s let them a little off the hook. And how do you coach that transition from OK, I went out, I had that initial discovery call or discovery visit. I learned a little bit about them. I know what’s important. Now I want to follow up. Now I got the numbers, I got a hit. How do you transition from that initial learning about them to putting something in front of them that is on your metric board?
36:37 – Jack Hubbard (Guest)
Well, if all you have is one prospect, you better be closing that prospect. The biggest challenges that people have that bankers have is they don’t have enough to pop up a fund. That’s number one. Number two the way they’re coached it’s all about this really drives me just crazy. How many calls did we make? I talked to a banker recently and he called me. He said I saw something on LinkedIn. I want to challenge you. I said great. He said you talked about making calls, the number of calls that people make. He said we have to do that or else our people wouldn’t make the calls. I said OK.
When I was a banker, I had to make 20 calls a week and I had to fill out a call report and it was a three-part form. That was self-carboning. I kept a copy copy one to Human Resources and a copy one on the president’s desk, and I would drop the call reports off on Friday night. So I dropped them off one day and I walked out of the office and I turned back around and the president, instead of looking at my call reports and making comments on them and provide feedback, he was wetting his finger and he was counting One, two, three and I thought wait a second. I hate making sales calls, but I’m filling out these call reports. So the following week I gave the same call reports to him One, two, three.
So people don’t like making sales calls, but it goes back to how you coach them. Yes, indeed, we have to make some type of a solutions presentation at some particular point, and it may be after the third discovery call. My opinion is you make an initial discovery call, you follow up with a conversational recap of what happened on the call within 48 hours. No doubt you follow up with another phone call and another discovery call If there’s a partner you need to bring in, the partner comes in and now you’re really starting to get a sense of this business. And then at some point you have to make a solutions presentation.
Here’s the problem. What the manager does when the banker comes back from the call is what did you sell today? How many calls do you have left for the week Now? What did you talk about? How did the call go compared to how you plan it? What are your next steps? What value did you provide?
So it’s all about this reinforcement. And then it goes back to something that you’re really, really good at, and that is measurement and tracking. What we need to start to think about is we need to start to stop worrying about how many calls people made and how many sales they made. Those are lag measures. What we need to worry about is how many prospects do I have in the top of my phone? Of those prospects, how many phone calls that I made helped me get an appointment? Of those appointments, how many were kept? Of those appointments that were kept, how many second calls did I make? What’s my close rate? What’s my average deal size? Those are the things that we should be measuring as bankers, and not worrying about quotas and call reports and cold calls and blitzes.
None of that’s going to work anymore. We talked about it at the very beginning. This isn’t changing environment and the customer is really tired of people coming in with coffee mugs and blitzes better things to do in their day than worrying about all that. And it goes back to this research. What can I do Now if all I have is a bunch of discovery calls and I never get through to the second call? That’s a coaching opportunity. I got in the door but I didn’t get back in the door. I need to make some joint calls to find out why. That’s the role of the coach.
40:46 – Fred Cadena (Host)
No, I think that makes a lot of sense. One of the things I mentioned in the introduction was you’ve got a lot of out-of-the-box ideas and I think you’ve shared some of them. I wanted to ask about one in particular that people that are familiar with you may have already heard about, but my understanding is you don’t like cross-selling and you and I we both talk to a lot of banks. Cross-selling is something that always gets raised with me, specifically from a systems perspective. How do we put more cross-sale opportunities out there? How do we surface these cross-sale opportunities? I’d like to hear your thoughts on what’s right, wrong and indifferent with cross-selling.
41:30 – Jack Hubbard (Guest)
Let’s go back to our initial comment when we first started our interview. The whole idea of congruence is really important. So if somebody goes through sales training whether that’s delivered inside or somebody comes in from the outside what they’re going to teach people is how to change their behaviors, how to add value, how to ask great questions and how to uncover the needs and priorities of the buyer. That’s great. The problem is when I come back. If there’s no congruence around that, then what I do. If my manager says what did you sell today? I’m going to come back and I’m going to change my whole behavior, not worry about the sales training. I’m going to sell a bunch of stuff.
If I believe that needs-based or trust-based selling and self-sufficiency whatever you will call it is really really important, then we should call it something different than cross-selling. I believe we should call it cross-solving, because if our goal is to initially solve people’s problems when we bring them into the bank, then why don’t we continue that process as we go forward? A lot of people say, oh, that’s just a spin or that’s just semantics, but it really is a unit in action. People that cross-solve when they go out to their customers, they’re asking them a problem-based questions, not product-based questions. People that cross-sell their mindset goes to well, they have a loan but they don’t have a deposit and I’m behind the plan on my deposits. I better push deposits. And I’ve even had bankers that were so focused by the bank on cross-selling that bankers would go. I’ve made joint calls with them and they would go out and they would say to their customer do me a favor, do me a favor.
See my treasury management rep. That’s not helping people, that’s not helping the bank. So the whole it goes back to the culture and mindset you want to sell products. It makes the customer a victim. Cross-selling if you want to solve problems and you want people to bring you money in bushel baskets and refer, cross-solving is really the answer.
43:46 – Fred Cadena (Host)
So one thing in that and I love that example, one thing that I think is potentially a assembling block or something needs to be solved for is more sophisticated product knowledge, like one of the things I would think first off if my banker came and said do me a favor, talk to my treasury person. Is they don’t really know what that treasury offering can do for my business. If they did, they could at least tie the request back and say I really I see you’re struggling with getting cash to all your locations and getting cash back into your locations and you have some locations that are cash heavy and some that aren’t. So I think our treasury solutions could really kind of help with that flexibility. How do you get bankers to want to learn more about product?
44:41 – Jack Hubbard (Guest)
Yeah, that’s always an age-old challenge, isn’t it? And the problem is in the forgetting curve. If a banker, if a bank once puts thousands and thousands of dollars into product knowledge and they’re trying to teach commercial bankers how to sell treasury management services, it’s going to fail. It fails 100% of the time. However, if the bank says here are three questions that I’d like to have you ask, to see if there’s an opportunity for a Treasury Management Services to commit it out, and they Practice it and they see, oh, that could be an occasion where I can ask that question. Now you’ve got a real, a real good foundation and I’ve seen it. We work with a six billion dollar bank in the middle of the country and the president was so frustrated because they weren’t getting any referrals to Treasury Management and Wanted to do all kinds of product knowledge.
I said no, before we spend the money on product knowledge, let’s try this. And we gave them three questions and they practice and the managers went over it at sales meetings. Their referrals to Treasury Management went up 200% in 60 days because, instead of having to know the product, they knew who to call. They asked the questions and when they got the answer, it triggered Okay, I could bring in Sally. And it goes to this. Every banker, every, every customer thinks every banker knows everything about banking and that’s obviously far from true. Right, any, any look would you? Would you have Justin Fields be a left tackle? Well, of course not that stupid the way that he’s a football player. So a banker need a commercial banker, a resource manager, needs to understand their, the product that they they are sell a lot pretty deeply, and then they need to know who are some partners that they can bring in and what are the Occasions where the partner might come in to be able to help.
46:47 – Fred Cadena (Host)
Yeah, no, I love that and I think that I think that’s a fantastic technique. Well, it’s been a really dynamic conversation. There’s been a lot of meat on the bone. I really appreciate the time today. I’d like to ask one last question and and maybe it can kind of be a Greatest hit or like what would be your top tip but if, if I’m a banker listening to today’s Broadcast, what would you tell them like the one thing that they can do to really up their game at building Trust and building more authentic relationships?
47:24 – Jack Hubbard (Guest)
be a lifetime Learner to. When I do banking schools, a lot of times I’ll say what? What sales book you read? Who’s reading the sales book? And I’ll have 200 kids in the class and nobody’s raising their hand. So be a lifetime learner read, read, read. Follow people on LinkedIn it’s all the same answer people like Anthony in a Reno, people like Brin Tilman, people like Meredith Elliott, how? Chris Nichols, mike McIntyre, larry Levine, as I mentioned Too often, what happens is we think, okay, I’ve been to sales training or I’ve done this and I’ve got a lot of experience, I know how to do. That goes back to our pilot exam. The pilots are always going back into the simulator to learn other kinds of things that will make them more effective for their passengers. We have to continue to do that. Sharpen your saw, sharpen your saw, continually learn, because if you don’t learn every day, I Love it.
48:25 – Fred Cadena (Host)
I couldn’t agree more. Thank you, jack. Really appreciate the time. Last thing if our audience wants to connect with you, which I think they definitely will, where’s the best place to find you?
48:37 – Jack Hubbard (Guest)
Well, I’m on LinkedIn quite a lot, so it’s Jack Hubbard. Just find me and connect with me. My email is Jay is jack at the modern banker Com. That’s a real easy way to get a hold of me. Thank you, fred, for having me. It was really fun.
48:52 – Fred Cadena (Host)
Awesome. Well, thank you, take care, have a great rest of your day.
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